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'Printing industry can thrive in terrorism free North and East'

Feb 19 (LP) The Government has created an environment in which the printing industry can thrive in the North and the East sans any terrorist threat, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka read out the message of the President in the absence of the President due to unavoidable circumstances at the inauguration of Collate 2010 Exhibition and Conference organized by more..

'Sympathetic leader rejoices on so called 18 lakhs victory by inflicting suffering on people'

Feb 19 (LeN) Former UNP MP Gayantha Karunatileke said, this is the first time in SL’s political history, a Presidential candidate was after elections abducted and held in custody by the elected President. The latter who claims he is the sympathetic leader and has won by 18 lakhs people’s votes is so selfish he does not want to share that happiness of his so called victory with the people of the country. more..

170 transferred in Ports Authority – violation of election law states union

Feb 19 (LT) Despite the announcement of the general election, 170 employees of the Port Authority have been transferred violating the election law points out General Secretary of All Ceylon General Port Employees Union (ACGPEU), Chandrasiri Mahagamage. He states the reason for the transfers was purely political and the Chairman of the Authority has carried out the transfers merely to victimize those having different political beliefs. more..

Govt. attempting to repress agitations using election law

Feb 19 (LT) It is reported that the police is attempting to use the election law to curb the opposition for the government that is surfacing throughout the island. Accordingly, all political demonstrations and protest activities have been banned from today (19th), the day beginning the period nominations are accepted until 15th April. more..

Police attempt to search JVP head office

Feb 19 (LT) A team of police officers had come, a few moments ago, to search the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta states media unit of the JVP. According to the media unit of the JVP the police officers had arrived at the head office, had a discussion with the former Parliamentarian for Colombo District Sunil Handunneththi and told him that they wanted to search the office. However, the police officers did not have any search warrant with them. more..

Luxman Seneviratne acts against General

Feb 19 (LT) 'Lankatruth' has received information, through a very reliable source, that former UNP Parliamentarian Luxman Seneviratne has made a statement to CID against Gen. Sarath Fonseka. According to this report Mr. Seneviratne has made this statement to the CID officers yesterday (18th). Mr. Seneviratne has stated that Gen. Fonseka had political connections with him while being the Chief of Defense Staff. more..

Artist Tilak Samarawickrama

Bata Atha Agricultural Technology Park: Haven for agriculturalists

Feb 19 (DN) The Bata Atha Agricultural Technology Park was established in 2007 under the patronage of Minister Chamal Rajapaksa to assist farmers to gain knowledge of small scale cultivation including home gardens. This park has been established mainly to transfer technology to the farmer through live specimens, demonstration of new and old agricultural technologies, promotion of agro tourism for local and foreign tourists, more..

Govt says no to milk powder price increase

Feb 19 (LNP) The Cabinet Sub Committee to control and reduce the Cost of Living, has decided not to permit an increase in milk powder prices after long deliberations on the prevailing milk powder prices in the local and international markets. Minister Bandula Gunawardena said a request from milk powder importing companies for an increase in prices was taken at the meeting. more..

Food poisoning again

Feb 19 (LP) While the last instance of food poisoning reported on the 12th is still fresh in our minds, another has surfaced from a fishing area, Kalpitiya yesterday. Over 100 students of the Kandakuliya Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya were admitted to the Kalpitiya Hospital with symptoms of food poisoning. The students had complained of stomach aches and later started vomiting as they had the mid day meal provided to them by the school. more..

Tourism strategy for poverty reduction

Feb 19 (DN) Caroline Ashley, Harold Goodwin and Dilys Roe through their work on Pro-Poor Tourism Strategies (PPT) shed some light on the need to ensure passing of tourism benefits to peripherals and to the masses which obviously is the political interest of any Government of the day. Although vertical integration that takes place in a natural business environment enables growth and sustainability of tourism in general, more..

EU seeks to ease tensions

Feb 19 (LNP) The European Union has welcomed Sri Lanka s desire to continue negotiations on retaining the GSP Plus trade concessions and hopes a mutual desire to see the values of democracy and respect for human rights strengthened will overcome short-term tensions between the two sides. European MP and South Asian Delegation Chair Ms. Jean Lambert said she hopes the temporary suspension of GSP Plus can result in improvements in Sri Lanka. more..

Presentation of coastal eco-systems: Ministry completes action plan

Feb 19 (DN) Sri Lanka's first National Strategy Action Plan for the preservation of coastal eco-systems has been handed over to Environment and Natural Resources Minister Champika Ranawaka by the country office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Sri Lanka to be implemented jointly by the Forest Department and the Coast Conservation Department. more..

CWC-led UPFA set to secure plantation region

Feb 19 (Island) Although President Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to secure the Nuwara Eliya electoral district at the recently concluded presidential polls, the UPFA is confident that it could win the district at the forthcoming parliamentary polls. Minister C.B. Ratnayake yesterday told The Island that the SLFP-led UPFA would definitely win Nuwara Eliya, though the Opposition believed it could retain the district, which it won at the last parliamentary polls. more..

Trading picks up, high prices in Jaffna

Feb 19 (Island) Consumers in Jaffna say vegetables are much cheaper after the reopening of the Kandy-Jaffna road (A9) than they used to be but comparing prices with the rest of the island, prices are still high, a probable cause being the middlemen that have for too long kept fair prices away from farmers and consumers all across the island. Last week the Governor of the Central Bank visited Jaffna and the Island Financial Review covering the visit took the opportunity to more..

'Opposition’s baseless allegations threaten political stability'

Feb 19 (DN) The Opposition alleged that the presidential election result as a fraud from the very beginning. They made allegation after allegation against the Government. Their most severe allegation was of a sophisticated computer fraud. Even the leaders of other countries delayed their congratulatory messages to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his victory even by an hour or a day due to this Opposition activity, more..

Ranil says rulers today put opponents behind bars

Feb 19 (Island) The late President D. B. Wijetunga, unlike those who take to politics today, did not put their opponents behind bars, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Tuesday at the ceremony held to unveil a statue of late President D. B. Wijetunga at Pilimatalawa. The statue was unveiled to coincide with the 1st- death anniversary of President D. B. Wijetunga, at Wijetunga Mawatha, Pilimatalawa. more..

Next parliament will have to rectify ‘flaws’ in the 17th amendment

Feb 19 (Island) Having delayed the implementation of the 17th amendment to the constitution for over four years,the Mahinda Rajapaksa government,said yesterday that it was upto to the next parliament to discuss it. Minister G.L. Peiris, when asked at the cabinet press briefing in Colombo,to explain the inordinate delay for the 17th amendment to take effect,said. "Since parliament is not in session,it has to be discussed by the next parliament." more..

JVP forms new front under trophy symbol

Feb 19 (DM) The JVP formed a new political front called the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) under the leadership of Gen. Sarath Fonseka to contest the upcoming general election, K.D. Lal Kantha said yesterday. The new alliance formed under the Trophy symbol was expected to be backed by SLFP MP Arjuna Ranatunga and SLFP (Mahajana Wing) General Secretary Tiran Alles. more..

CID to ‘indict’ Gen. Fonseka

Feb 19 (DM) The CID will ‘indict’ General Sarath Fonseka, his son in law’s mother Asoka Tilakaratne and her daughter Upsara Tilakaratne for alleged money laundering under the Exchange Control Act following the detection of more than Rs. 75 million worth of undeclared money including US$ 527,000 and 100 sterling pounds in a private locker of a private bank, Minister Prof. G.L.Peiris said. more..

Champika: ‘Don’t vote for polluters’

Feb 19 (DM) Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka advised the public yesterday to avoid voting the candidates who pollute the environment at the upcoming General Elections. “We advise the public to vote for those who don’t pollute the environment with posters, polythene, fire crackers, alcohol and drugs or other pollutants, and instead vote for those who follow ethics and discipline in the country,” more..

Polls Chief issues tough guidelines

Feb 19 (DM) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, while issuing guidelines for the media to be observed in regard to the upcoming general election, has drawn special attention of the Chairmen of the SLBC and the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation to the Provisions in Article 104(B) of the Constitution. The Commissioner has set these guidelines in terms of this Article of the Constitution. more..

Winning party's preferential votes to be counted first

Feb 19 (CT) Preferential votes polled by the winning party will first be counted at the upcoming parliamentary polls, said elections chief Dayananda Dissanayake. Other parties' preferential votes will be counted later, he said. Meanwhile, 300,000 public sector workers will engage in duties at the election. This is up from the 250,000 officers at the January 26 presidential polls. The elections commissioner has instructed returning officers to more..

'SF had to be taken regardless of fallout'

Feb 19 (Island) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe yesterday said that the recent arrest of Gen (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka might prove to be detrimental to the UPFA’s interests, particularly in view of the forthcoming general election. But unfortunately, the government had no option but to take action against Fonseka, now held on conspiracy charges, he said. more..

US$ 527,000 in possession of Asoka Tillekeratne: Exchange control law violated

Feb 19 (DN) Asoka Tillekeratne being in possession of US Dollars 527,000 in crisp, unused, dollar notes of serial numbers in logical sequence was a blatant violation of Sri Lanka’s Exchange Control laws as a person could possess only US Dollars 2,000 legally. Holding any amount in excess of that amount was an offence punishable by law, minister Prof G.L. Peiris said more..

Several sporting stars in the fray for polls

Feb 19 (CT) Several former and present sporting stars who have brought fame to the country contesting the upcoming parliamentary polls from the ruling and opposition parties. A majority of them have decided to contest under the ticket of the ruling UPFA. Among them is Susanthika Jayasinghe, who won silver in the women's 200 m event at the 2000 Olympics. more..

30 Rajapakse guards train in India

Feb 19 (AA) Thirty officers of President Mahinda Rajapakse’s elite personal guard have completed an advanced two-month training course at the Haryana Police Academy at Madhuban near Karnal. Ranging in rank from assistant inspector to superintendent of police, the Lankan officers were imparted VVIP protection and related skills as part of a govt of India initiative to train police contingents from friendly nations. more..

SF is innocent to some extent - SB

Feb 19 (DM) S.B. Dissanayake yesterday described detained Opposition Presidential Candidate General Sarath Fonseka as an ‘innocent person’ to some extent. “To a certain extent, General Sarath Fonseka is innocent. He cannot understand. When two, three thousand people gathered around and took his hands, he mistook it and thought that he could win. We know very well about elections. more..

Sri Lanka to release all child soldiers by May

Feb 19 (AFP) Sri Lanka said Friday it plans to release all detained Tamil Tiger child soldiers by the end of May and re-unite them with their families. Government forces defeated the rebel LTTE in May last year, ending their 37-year fight for a Tamil homeland in the north of the country. Over 500 child soldiers surrendered to the army and were produced before a court before being enlisted in a one-year rehabilitation programme. more..

Rajapaksa’s brother to contest in Parliamentary polls

Feb 19 (PTI) Basil Rajapaksa, the adviser to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother on Friday signed his nomination papers to contest the April 8 Parliamentary elections. Mr. Basil filed his nomination papers from Gampaha district in the Western Province. He was also a member of the dissolved Parliament, and is the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force for the Development of the North. more..

Congnitech to analyzes Sri Lanka execution video

Feb 19 (GN) Cognitech Inc., has announced the successful forensic video processing and analysis of the United Nations requested digital video/audio recording of a purported Sri Lanka execution, with the use of their Video Investigator™ software. Before giving the scientifically pre-processed video to a forensic pathologist and terminal ballistics expert, Professor Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur more..

Sri Lanka monks complain of government pressure

Feb 19 (AFP) Sri Lanka's top Buddhist monks called off a special gathering this week because of government pressure, a spokesman said Friday, while the opposition said bomb threats had been involved. The Buddhist leaders had planned to meet on Thursday to discuss a strategy for pressing the government to release defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka, more..

Debrief News - 19. 02. 2010

'U.S. has no intention to destabilise Rajapaksa Govt'

Feb 19 (Hindu) Sri Lanka on Friday said it does not give any credence to the 'palpable misinformation’ concerning alleged moves involving the United States, aimed at undermining the leadership of President Rajapaksa, and destabilising his government. A statement put out by the Foreign Ministry said the matter figured when the U.S. Ambassador Ms. Patricia Butenis met Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. more..

Sri Lanka gets more garment factories

Feb 20 (LBO) The Board of Investment, said it has given approval for investors, including a Hong Kong firm, to set up clothing factories for export. The announcement came just days after the European Union said it will withdraw duty free access given to Sri Lanka because of concerns over alleged human rights abuses. The BOI said in a statement that it has signed an investment agreement for 35 million rupees with Interfashion Limited, more..

Withdrawal of GSP+ not deterring investors

Feb 20 (F2F) Just days after the European Union decided to withdraw preferential trade benefits or GSP+ as it is called; the Board of Investment (BoI) has given approval to investors to set up garment factories in the island country. Boi has given the go-ahead to a Hong Kong based company; Interfashion Limited, which will invest Rs 35 million to manufacture high-value ladies formal wear for Marks & Spencer and Tesco. more..

Govt. 'trying to destroy Buddhism'

Feb 20 (BBC) The UNP has accused the government of violating the constitution by trying to destroy the Theravada Buddhism in the island. Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe said a certain section of Buddhist monks (a Heretic Sect) have threatened to divide the main Nikaya among the four major Buddhist chapters. He said the alleged threats made to Mahanayake thero of the Malwatta Chapter, more..

Sri Lanka stocks gain 1 pct on retail buying; foreigners exit

Feb 20 (Reuters) Shares rose 1 percent on Friday, fuelled by local retail buying on strong earning hopes, coupled with post-war economic optimism, but foreigners sold stocks, data from the exchange showed. The All-Share Price Index rose 36.04 points to 3,768.81, its highest close since Feb. 8. "It's a totally retail-driven market," said Prashan Fernando, chief operating officer at Acuity Stockbrokers. more..

Asylum-seeker deported

Feb 20 (TA) A Sinhalese fisherman who fought the Rudd government in the Federal Court in a bid for asylum has been flown back to Sri Lanka, the last to be sent home from a group that reached the Australian mainland. Meril Fernando was sent home on Thursday, more than a year after he and 11 others travelled from Sri Lanka in a fishing boat fitted with a GPS. The 11 men and one teenage boy reached the West Australian coast on November 27, 2008, and more..

'Order police' to release Prageeth

Feb 20 (BBC) The wife of a disappeared journalist in Sri Lanka has sought judicial remedy to get her husband released. In a petition to the appeals court, Sandhya Eknaligaoda says her appeals to the authorities to find Prageeth Eknaligoda has receved no positive response. Although police were informed of the threats to her husband before he disappeared on 24 January, she said, there has been no “fair investigations” into his complaints. more..